Selected articles from December 2006 issue published on TheFabricator.com:
Coil-fed stamping presses are nothing new, but coil feeding processes have changed a lot since the days when press feeders were driven mechanically by crank motion. Influencing these processes are differences between transfer and progressive tooling.
When Crystal Distribution Inc., a manufacturer of curb adapters and related products, was challenged by the logistics of its facility, President Pat O'Brien had three choices: lease a different building, buy a different building, or build a new facility. Deciding to build a new facility made the most sense and ended up giving the company's manufacturing operations a whole new flow.
CO2 lasers are available in wattages that can cut plate more than 1 in. thick. The wattage, however, isn't the only factor that affects total speed and power. The assist gas chosen and the mode of the laser also influence final results.
Plasma arc welding (PAW) is very similar to gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), but its highly concentrated arc makes it very different - and not necessarily the best process for every application. A close look at its characteristics and equipment will help you decide if it's right for your applications.
Many manufacturers don't think that their companies qualify as researchers and developers. But with a little look into your company's everyday activities, you may find that you do conduct R&D - and possibly spend enough on R&D in a year to qualify for a tax credit.
A tool- and die-maker for 50 years, Leo Niemela started out successfully enough in the tool and die business. But as the industry started to decline, he and his family had to decide which direction to take: stay with tool and die or reposition the company.
For a job shop or contract manufacturer to take as much labor out of the manufacturing process as possible, automation is necessary. This can be helped with the integration of front-office and shop floor software.
Structural steel shops book jobs by the shop hour. More jobs lead to more hours and inevitably longer delivery times. In many instances, just-in-time deliveries in the structural business can be measured with calendars, not stopwatches. Suburban Steel Supply Co., Gahanna, Ohio, tries not to fall into that traditional trap when servicing its customers.
Manufacturing software has come a long way in just the last five years. Independent software developers point out some of the advancements in manufacturing software in the hopes that some fabricators realize they may be missing out on some real production-optimization tools.
The historic High Roller roller coaster, perched atop the Stratosphere Tower on the Las Vegas Strip, needed to be demolished. The question for contractors was what cutting process and equipment would be best to dismantle the roller coaster, all 367, 3-foot, 300-lb. sections of it.
Of the many weld processes used, resistance, high frequency and fusion welding are the most likely to be integrated with roll forming. Welding processes that are integrated with roll forming include GTAW, fusion, plasma arc welding, laser welding, resistance welding, and high-frequency welding. The fusion weld processes most successfully integrated with rollforming are those that are fast and don't require a filler metal.
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